From literature to business, it’s been a culture shift but I am enjoying every minute of it. I survive on my sense of humour. Love Wodehouse, westerns, crime thrillers, and a good laugh with family and friends.

Mythili Rajkumar

Walk into my parlour...

| Updated on March 09, 2018

The staff, trained to offer just that little tempting more, prevail.

It’s one of those places where you go all primed to spend just what you intend to, exactly the way you want to.

Alas, resolutions in the beauty parlour don’t harden like face mask but melt like wax. Invariably, you leave with a lot more on the skin and a lot less in the pocket…

You might have gone in wanting a quick hair trim, but the lady inside says, “Oh, look at your face, so dull. Why don’t you have a quick facial while getting your hair done?”

And she reels off options: “do you want this gold combination, fresh fruit, goodness of milk…” and all along you are trying to say, “Please, I want to look as natural as possible, better still, as if I hadn’t come to a parlour at all.” But the staff, trained to offer just that little tempting more, prevail.

While I have nothing against looking good – who has? – the feeling of loss of control is intimidating. Not too long ago, your unpretentious parlour sort of listened if you were vehement enough. But the small ones are shutting shop, making room for the big brands muscling their way into hitherto unfashionable areas. These parlours let their swanky décor do the talking. Besides, of course, the packages.

Everything is a combo, and the catch word is 'herbal'. There was a time when a 'herb' was something that grew in your garden or your window sill. Now it is what the parlour people squeeze out of glossy bottles with fine print that can be read comfortably only with a magnifying lens.

Then there is the 'bleaching' agent, purportedly to make skin fairer. But think of the havoc it could wreak on your melanin DNA.

As we celebrate women's week, ladies, let's look our best, for sure, but not at the cost of our health. The next time you visit your parlour, do please ask what's being applied, what brand it is, what it aims to do, especially when it comes to colouring your hair.

Also, eating that papaya or cucumber will do your skin a lot more good than using a beauty cream with the goodness of vegetables and fruits that were grown months — or years — ago.

A noticeable trend now is that of the visiting beautician, who doesn’t belong to any parlour but does the home rounds on her own terms. If your friends know of any such genuine beautifiers, grab them and put the knowledge you have gleaned from watching ‘ Naattumarundu (home remedies) shows to good use this scorching summer.

Beauty may only be skin-deep but it had better be healthy skin at that!

Published on March 13, 2015

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